National Archives Museum
Discover many of the country’s most treasured documents at the National Archives Museum, and learn more about America’s history. Explore interactive exhibitions at the Public Vaults and get hands-on with history at the family-focused Boeing Learning Center, packed with creative activities. Head to the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom to see the country’s founding documents (accompanied by the vibrant Faulkner Murals), and visit the Record of Rights Gallery to view a copy of the Magna Carta.
In addition to its permanent collection, the National Archives Museum also showcases temporary exhibitions, so it’s worth checking the online calendar when planning a visit.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Entrance to the National Archives Museum is free.
To protect the fragile documents, no photography is allowed.
Guided tours are available once daily on weekdays, by reservation only.
The museum’s Charters Café serves snacks and lunch on weekdays, from midmorning to midafternoon.
Strollers and large bags are permitted in the museum but must be carried, as there is no coat-check facility.
The museum is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, and a limited number of wheelchairs are available to rent.
How to Get There
The museum is located on the National Mall in downtown Washington DC. If using public transportation, take the Green and Yellow Metro Lines to Archives-Navy Mem’l-Penn Quarter Station, or take the Blue, Orange, and Silver Lines to Federal Triangle Station. The area also is served by numerous bus lines and can be reached on foot, by car, or by bike.
When to Get There
The National Archives Museum is open daily, from midmorning to early evening. It is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The museum can be busy during peak tourist season (during the summer months and in advance of major holidays), so if you want to avoid the long lines, make an advanced reservation.
Highlights of the National Mall
Given its location on the National Mall, the National Archives Museum is neighbors with many of the city’s most remarkable monuments and most-visited museums. The National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History are less than a block away, and the Hirshhorn Museum, National Air and Space Museum, Washington Monument, and US Capitol also are nearby.
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